Four Mozambicans were sentenced to 20 years in prison for poaching and smuggling of rhino horns in neighboring South Africa, the Mozambican Ministry of Internal Affairs announced here on Tuesday.
The four were arrested in March 2016 inside the Kruger National Park in South Africa when patrol guards were alerted by gunfire and then discovered two rhinos dead with their horns missing.
According to the Mozambican authorities, the guards followed the trail of the hunters and after an exchange of gunfire, the Mozambicans were arrested with possession of ammunition, a saw and recently cut rhino horns.
“The suspects, aged between 27 and 30, were found guilty of illegal hunting and possession of a weapon. They will serve a total of 20 years in prison,” said Katlego Mogale, the spokesman of the ministry.
South Africa has about 20,000 rhinos, about 80 percent of the world’s total population, but rampant poaching has reportedly led to the death of over 7,100 rhinos in the last decade. Enditem